Have a new puppy or a misbehaving pooch? Check out these reasons to take your dog to obedience training…
One of the main reasons that dogs end up in shelters is because they are misbehaving, destructive or barking a lot and it’s easier for the owner to re-home them (using the shelter option) than it is to fix the behavioural problems. One case I remember is a young dog only about 10 months of age who had already had 3 owners. It was a small-medium size breed (Cavoodle) with a beautiful temperament, however as it was a puppy it was chewing on everything.
The problem is the owners expect the dog to be perfect and not do anything that would affect their lifestyle. This dog was only doing what came naturally in the teething process and yet still it was re-homed three times in a very short time frame. Along with this, the rapid change of environments caused the development of separation anxiety and this made things worse! Luckily, the fourth owner decided to do something positive about it and hired me to fix the behavioural problems before they escalated to a point of no return. Unfortunately, there are some behavioural problems that can never be fixed, especially if they’ve been left too late.
Considering this, training your dog basic obedience is absolutely crucial to a healthy pet-owner relationship. And there are other benefits to training your pooch, too:
1. Develop a great relationship with your dog!
Training your dog helps you to develop your relationship with your beloved canine friend. Once you start getting into it and see results you become keen for more and since your dog has such a great ability to learn there are endless commands and tricks you can teach your dog.
2. Help your dog be well balanced
Not only is it fun but because you are physically and mentally challenging your dog with training, it keeps both of you busy and there’s less chance of boredom arising – and as such, less chance of problem behaviours emerging.
3. Keeps you fit and gets you outside
Training your dog allows you to spend lots of time outside and can work not only in your own backyard but also at places like the park or beach where you can work on things like recall and playing fetch.
4. Fun for all the family
All members of the family can be part of your dog training. Kids love it and involving them in the training can help increase the dog’s respect for them, which in turn gives you more peace of mind that both kids and dog will get on well.
5. Gives you more control
When you put your practice in you will get more control with your dog in any situation. Dogs can learn hundreds of commands and are very keen to learn and obey: keep things positive, fun, calm and assertive and you will have great success.
Nicola Anderson is a dog behaviourist and trainer. See www.thedogblog.com.au for more tips and to book a training session.